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  #1  
Old 02-26-2005
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amunk is on a distinguished road
Lake Ontario to Florida, Keys & caribbean

I just started to plan a trip from Lake Ontario to the Caribbean. My plan is to spend most of the 2005 summer cruising Lake Ontario to work out any kinks in my new (new to me) sail boat and then head south and hopefully avoid the hurricane season. I would like to start my northern track to be back in Lake Ontario sometime in the summer of 2006.

Sorry for the long preamble. What does the list recommend in terms of reference material, charts, routes to consider, windows of opportunity and anything else that may help me to plan. By the way I plan to single hand most of the time and take on crew every once in a while. I am in my mid 50''s but in better than average health and physical condition.

I appreciate very much your help.
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Old 02-26-2005
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wanna_sail is on a distinguished road
Lake Ontario to Florida, Keys & caribbean


I am planning a similar trip. What you request is actually volumes of information which I doubt would/could reasonably be put into a message board reply.

My planning started with a google search for "East Coast Crusing" and got over 468,000 hits. Like many googles searches, most hits were useless but there were quite a few in the first 3 or 4 pages that were very informative. This is a quote form the 3rd hit which is a good read....

"On the East Coast, the Intracoastal Waterway is choked each fall and spring with
cruisers moving their boats south for the winter and north for the summer...."

Here is the URL...

www.sheridanhouse.com/excerpts/ cruisingseniorsexcerpt.html

For the ICW you may want to look at this...

http://www.reedsalmanac.com/intercoastal_waterway_d.html

It is a very informative read.

Anyway, good luck with your trip, I am having as much fun planning and learning about the East Coast as I think the actuall trip will be. Which for me starts June 11th. I think when you do a trip it is important to set a start date or you never get to the point when you are ''ready''...


Steve


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Old 02-27-2005
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GordMay is on a distinguished road
Lake Ontario to Florida, Keys & caribbean

Some excellent On-Line resources to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW):

ICW Guide from Tom and Pam Dove
http://mysite.verizon.net/tomdove/icw.html

FLORIDA ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY MOVABLE BRIDGE GUIDE
http://www.aicw.org/bridge.htm

ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY ASSOCIATION (AIWA)
http://www.atlintracoastal.org/

Distances Between US Ports:
http://chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov/nsd/distances-ports/distances.pdf

From s/v “Two-Step” (Paul & Sheryl Shard):
The Way South! - Toronto to New York
http://www.searoom.com/shard/south-1B.html
Outfitting:
http://www.searoom.com/shard/outfit.html

THE FLORIDA INLAND NAVIGATION DISTRICT - AICW
http://www.aicw.org/

Latest information on Intracoastal Waterway activity
http://www.watercruising.com/default.asp

The Intracoastal Waterway On-Line Cruising Guide
http://www.ftkltd.com/ICW.htm

Published Precautionary Notices - Atlantic Coast of the U.S.
http://co-ops.nos.noaa.gov/notices2.html#Atlantic
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Old 02-27-2005
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Nereus32 is an unknown quantity at this point
Lake Ontario to Florida, Keys & caribbean

I just finished a very similar trip from Chicago, through the lakes to Tonowanda, where we entered the erie canal. After seven months, we arrived in sw florida. It is a great trip. I, however, caution you that it is a long way, so don''t dilly-dally too much.

The biggest challenge will probably be the NJ stretch from Sandy Hook to Cape May, then the run up the Delaware Bay, as you sort of have to commit to the distance once you start.

The Chesapeake is worth spending time in. I wish I''d have gottent there sooner so I could have spent more time in better weather. October was already plenty cold, which bring up another question: What are you going to do for heat? We have a diesel cabin heater that helped us to greatly extend our cruising time in colder climates when every one else had already been forced south.

The ICW is porous enough to decided to jump out and make big runs off shore, or day sails out side, or motorsailing inside. It allowed us to move every day we wanted to.

I kept a web site of out trip, which may or may not be useful to you: www.nereus32.com. However, you can contact me through the site and I''d be happy to answer any question pertaining to what I did and the reasons I did them.

Good luck with the trip. It is the best thing I ever did!

Steve
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Old 03-08-2005
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jnunnink is on a distinguished road
Lake Ontario to Florida, Keys & caribbean

I am thinking of a similar trip..leaving either rhode island or south to either the USVI or st martin in the late fall. I have had the chance to sail offshore from marsh harbor to newport...that trip has the gulfstream with you and we used Herb for the weather (with mixed to poor results - he is better for trawlers than sailboats in my opinion)...several options are available for your trip..one is to do it solo..or you can join a cruising rally..or several boats can hook up this way...if others are interested this would be your best bet in my opinion...also, I live on lake champlain so if you use that waterway to get to nyc than let me know..I have a mooring you can use for a short time...good luck - chris
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Old 03-09-2005
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pmills42255 is on a distinguished road
Lake Ontario to Florida, Keys & caribbean

Hey,
the intercoastal can be tedious and 50 miles a day aat best. to get to the virgin islands its best to head offshore from some place north of Georgia and when due north of BVI, turn right and sail south. It will take a year otherwise.
skip the keys, expensive, and very much just fishing boats with big wakes and loud engines. Nothing there for tourists. Bahamas can offer a life time of saiing and exploring but weather in the winter can get chilly. "Gentleman''s passage south" by Bruce vansant is a bible you will need. I had a few drinks with him, and visited in Luperon and what he writes, along with his diagrams is a pricelesss. If you are sailing in the ocean figure 3 knots if you are not going to motor.
Look into the Carrabean 1500 as a way to get down there. Watch your fronts floating down from Florida and have fun!
Paul
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Old 03-10-2005
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amunk is on a distinguished road
Lake Ontario to Florida, Keys & caribbean

I am a bit confused!
1) Did you mean when due north of BVI turn left (not right) and sail south.
2) Why figure on 3 knots when sailing in the ocean? When you say "sailing the ocean" do you mean going offshore?
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Old 03-10-2005
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Lake Ontario to Florida, Keys & caribbean

I second the notion of checking out the caribbean1500 rally which leaves from Norfolk to BVI''s in early November each year. The offshore route will get you down there in about 2 weeks rather than the months it would take via the ICW and Bahamas and "thorny" path.
The normal route is head east till you hit 60 dgrees longitude then right along 60 to Virgin Gorda...subject to weather of course.You can also pick up crew for the offshore passage through the rally. Suggest coming down to the Chesapeake offshore as well so you can shake down your boat and discover any needed repairs and get them fixed before you really head "out there".

On the other hand, it sounds as if you are fairly new at this and this is quite a trip. You can have an equally great time just working your way along the ICW and taking in the sights and crossing over to the Bahamas in late fall/early winter where you will have a great time in protected waters and enjoy some great cruising company as well.

Best...BigGb
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Old 06-02-2005
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chuck711 is on a distinguished road
Lake Ontario to Florida, Keys & caribbean

Hello
We are just now completing our trip from Detroit to Trinidad. We left in August 2003
and just cleared into the USA ( PR ). Met IVAN in Grenada but other than that it was a great and interesting trip on our Cal 33.
No water maker or fridge. Reduced all the dependency on Amps.
Did electronic charts all the way. Enjoyed living on the boat. I´m 51 and my mate is 43.
Used cruising guides and Capn Bob ? guides( ICW and erie canal )for info. No problem.
You could do the trip in one year and after reaching Grenada turn around and head back to the USA instead of waiting out hurricane season down there.
Chuck
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